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Antigenic and genetic characterization of serogroup C meningococci isolated from invasive meningococcal disease cases in Canada from 1999 to 2003

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Four hundred and forty-two serogroup C Neisseria meningitidis isolates from individual invasive meningococcal disease (IMD) patients in Canada during the period 1999 to 2003 were analyzed. The majority (84%) of the serogroup C meningococci were characterized by the serotype antigen 2a and belonged to the clonal complex of electrophoretic type ET-15. However, after more than a decade of endemic disease as well as a number of outbreaks and many vaccination campaigns, both genetic and antigenic variants of the serogroup C serotype 2a meningococci were noted. Such variants include strains characterized as C:2a:P1.5 and C:2a:P1.7,1 as well as a non-serotypeable phenotype due to a mutational hot spot on the serotype 2a PorB outer-membrane protein. Meningococci characterized by the antigen formula B:2a:P1.5,2 and B:2a:P1.7,1 have also been found, which suggests capsule switching. Besides the clonal group of ET-15/ET-37, small numbers of serogroup C isolates were found to belong to the clonal complexes of ST-8 (Cluster A4), ST-41/44 (Lineage 3), ST-35, and ST-269.Key words: serogroup C, meningococci, genetic, antigenic, variants.

Quatre cent quarante-deux isolats de Neisseria meningitidis de sérogroupe C issus de patients atteints de la maladie méningococcale invasive au Canada durant la période de 1999 à 2003 ont été analysés. La majorité (84 %) des méningocoques de sérogroupe C étaient caractérisés par l'antigène sérotypique 2a et appartenaient au complexe clonal de type électrophorétique ET-15. Toutefois, après plus d'une décennie de maladie endémique et de plusieurs épidémies et campagnes de vaccination, des variantes génétiques et antigéniques de méningocoques de sérogroupe C, sérotype 2a ont été recensées. De telles variantes comprennent des souches caractérisées comme C:2a:P1.5 et C:2a:P1.7,1 de même qu'un phénotype non-sérotypable dû à un point chaud de mutations sur la protéine de la membrane externe PorB du sérotype 2a. Les méningocoques caractérisés par la formule antigénique B:2a:P1.5,2 et B:2a:P1.7,1 ont également été retrouvés, ce qui suggère une commutation de la capsule. Outre le groupe clonal ET-15/ET-37, un petit nombre d'isolats du sérogroupe C se sont avérés appartenir aux complexes clonaux ST-8 (Ensemble A4), ST-41/44 (Lignée 3), ST-35 et ST-269.Mots clés : sérogroupe C, méningocoques, génétiques, antigénique, variantes.[Traduit par la Rédaction]

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2005-07-01

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  • Published since 1954, this monthly journal contains new research in the field of microbiology including applied microbiology and biotechnology; microbial structure and function; fungi and other eucaryotic protists; infection and immunity; microbial ecology; physiology, metabolism and enzymology; and virology, genetics, and molecular biology. It also publishes review articles and notes on an occasional basis, contributed by recognized scientists worldwide.
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